A tender pecan layer cake flavored with a generous amount of butter and a splash of pecan infused whiskey is just right for special occasions whether it's celebrating a promotion or a birthday.
For this recipe you'll need the following ingredients: all purpose flour, baking powder, salt, unsalted butter, sugar, vanilla, eggs, milk, pecans, and pecan whiskey (optional or you can substitute bourbon) You'll also need 2 9-inch cake pans and 40 minutes of time.
A month or so ago I was picking up some liquor for a client project and I happened to see pecan praline whiskey. I knew right then that I wanted to make this cake for my husband's birthday. Pecan anything is almost guaranteed to be popular here in Texas so I wasn't too worried that he wouldn't like it even though it wasn't chocolate.
Our property is filled with pecan and black walnut trees. I was really excited about it when we first moved here. I made all kinds of plans for those pecans and walnuts - why I'd even sell the at the Farmer's Market! When fall came and those nuts started hitting the ground I gathered them up. I grabbed my basket and made a beeline for the kitchen and my nut cracker. When the first pecan was shriveled and icky I chalked it up to the price I had to pay for these gorgeous wild pecans. By the time I'd opened the tenth one (yes I am stubborn) and gagged as a little white worm wiggled out I was done with the damn pecans. The black walnuts were impossible to open so I decided to be happy with the shade that the trees create and the great firewood they turn into when they fall down.
Isn't that just the way, though? You build things up in your mind and then when they don't measure up to your fantasy you get frustrated -- at least do. Y'all are probably not like that. This year I am working on being satisfied with what I have while I am on the way to where I'm going.
Anyway, back to this most amazing pecan layer cake. Between the ground pecans and the pecan whiskey I knew that the flavor was going to be incredible. I was a little concerned about the texture, though. I based my cake on a black walnut (how do people open those things?) cake from a 1930s cookbook. I used butter rather than shortening and pecans rather than walnuts. With a couple of tweaks it was exactly what I wanted.
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If you want successful cakes you have to have good cake pans. I've tried a lot of them and I always come back to Wilton. They are strong, they clean easily, and they hold up well over time.
Wilton Performance Cake Pans Round Pan 4 Piece Set
Here's the Pecan Layer Cake Recipe. You can use any frosting you like but I like this Cream Cheese Frosting. Just scroll down to the frosting recipe on the bottom.
Pecan Layer Cake: Did You Say Pecan Whiskey?Print Save Go to Collections
- 2 cups flour
- 2 ¾ teaspoons of baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅔ cup unsalted butter
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 3 eggs, , room temperature and separated
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup pecan praline whiskey, (or bourbon, or leave it out and add another ¼ cup of milk)
- 1 ½ cups finely ground pecans
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- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Grease and flour 2 9-inch pans.
- Set aside.
- Beat the egg whites until they are stiff but not dry.
- Set aside.
- Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt together.
- Set aside.
- Cream the butter with the sugar and vanilla until fluffy.
- Add the egg yolks all at once and beat well.
- Add the bourbon to the milk.
- Set aside.
- Add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour and beating well after each addition.
- Add the nuts and fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites.
- Spoon into greased and floured pans and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let cool 5 minutes in the pans then turn out and cool completely.
- Fill and frost as desired.
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This is a great, solid cake recipe. Texture is a balance between dense and fluffy, and flavor was not overly sweet or overly nutty - just right. I was making for an event where one person can't eat gluten, so I used gluten free flour. Couldn't find the right whiskey, so used the bourbon option. Also used half white sugar and half brown sugar. Frosted with a cream cheese frosting. The pecans and the bourbon come through wonderfully without being too powerful. Thanks for a solid and delicious recipe!